How forest conservation law got the short shrift in ecotourism push

Government makes a mockery of the consultation process to amend the Forest (Conservation) Act, issues a guideline that mirrors the very change it is seeking to effect.

In early October, the environment ministry quietly initiated public consultations on certain changes it wanted to make to India’s main law for conservation of forests—the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980—by issuing a consultation paper which describes the proposed amendments.

Initially, the ministry only gave 15 days for people to send their feedback. But, responding to public criticism and suggestions, this was increased to 30 days. Subsequently, the ministry came out with translated versions of the consultation paper in multiple languages, ostensibly for wider consultations. Environment minister Bhupender Yadav, in an interview to The Hindu, also appeared to suggest that no …


Akshay Deshmane

Akshay is an investigative reporter and former writer at The Morning Context. Based in Delhi, he writes about the environment, public policy and economy from the lens of the pulls and pressures of an ambitious democracy. Akshay uses the right to information extensively for reporting stories of vital public interest. Over the past decade and more, he has worked for HuffPost India, Frontline, The Economic Times, Down To Earth and DNA.